Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Jackie Gamber joins the SSP family!

Will be reporting on my visit as a guest author for the Reading Extravaganza program at Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School in Lexington today, which went wonderfully, but I wanted to keep the immediate focus today and into tomrrow on the press release for the newest member of the Seventh Star Press family!

Award-winning author Jackie Gamber is now aboard, with myself and Steven L. Shrewsbury, at Seventh Star Press, and I'm ecstatic about this. Jackie is fantastic, and I absolutely loved the first release of Redheart on Meadowhawk Press. That book is going to be re-released by SSP, and the second book, Sela, is going to come out in the middle of 2011.

I've gotten to visit with Jackie at several conventions, and she is an outstanding panelist, as well as generous in her support of other writers. She will be a wonderful representative of Seventh Star Press and what it is all about. I am looking forward to teaming up with her at lots of events in the future.

visit her site if you haven't already at

Matthew Perry is going to be the first up to do cover art and illustrations for the Leland Dragon Series as well, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how he illustrates Kallon Redheart, an amazing dragon character in this series.

Be sure to check out the full official press release for Jackie at:

And get ready next week for Steven L. Shrewsbury's novel going live at SSP, with the introduction of the cover art and some more amazing Matthew Perry artwork.

There'll be another book announced right after that..which has something to do with the Fires in Eden Series!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

New Facebook Page for Seventh Star Press

Just a quick note to let everyone know that Seventh Star Press has a Facebook page, finally! :) Be sure to pass the link on and add it if you are on Facebook. For your convenience, a direct badge/link is here:

Seventh Star Press

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Book Around Corner, New Dates added!

Just wanted to pop in to give a small update...

the final text for the new Fires in Eden book has been handed in! It may well be the largest book yet, lol ...I took a quick picture of the manuscript, single-sided, with a Monster Energy drink can for perspective! Yes, it is going to be a little larger, but that's so we can end it with a major, and I mean MAJOR, revelation for the entire series. It caught my editor Karen Leet off guard, but she loved it. She's been really happy with the pacing of the novel, so don't be daunted by the size of this flows with action, action, and more a monster of an epic battle that fantasy fans and history buffs will get a real kick out of. I'm very excited about the new book, and Matt is working on new illustrations and cover art now.

I have just added some new appearances to the calendar. Thanks to Deth Publications, I will be attending ScareFest in Lexington after all. Deth Publications is going to be selling my titles at their table, and I will be going to help out over the weekend on November 5 and 6. The following weekend is the Kentucky Book Fair, and then December 11th is Apex Day at Joseph Beth, so it is going to be a very busy time locally (and I will be returning to Dunbar next week on invitation to take part in their wonderful Reading Extravaganza program, in regards to The Storm Guardians).

The new year is going to see MANY dates involving both the book world and the movie world, as Swordbearer will be premiering later in January. I will be attending many Cons both as an author guest and also to screen Swordbearer, and we will have some targeted premieres and festivals to announce very soon.

A while back, I talked about a new series of resin-cast collectible figurines from the book series, and it looks like that project is very close to launching the first figure. More on this soon, but wanted everyone to know that we are quietly advancing it forward.

On another note, keep an eye on the Seventh Star Press site the first week of November. Announcement coming on Steven L. Shrewsbury's novel Thrall out on Seventh Star Press. Steven has been a good friend and very supportive, and I can't say how happy I am that Amanda DeBord gave the green light to bring him onto Seventh Star Press. Those that like the dark fantasy of Robert E. Howard will LOVE Shrews. And in addition to that, a wonderful new addition is about to be announced to Seventh Star Press, and she's a fantastic writer! Wait until you find out who!

Monday, October 11, 2010

The latest visit to Archon!

(photo is of a new reader-friend, Martin Austin, with myself on the right, at Archon 2010)

I am about a week behind in my report on Archon, as I came right back from it and did the last two shoots for Swordbearer, and had to get a full set report up with pics on the final shoots.

The trip to St. Louis went very well, and I had another good Archon experience. Archon was held at a new convention site in the city, so it had a new layout and arrangement. The dealers room and registration was in one building, with most of the programming in another building that was a short walk away. It made for a little adventure upon arrival, as I first went to the programming office (as I was slated for 5 panels, a reading, and a signing), and had to do a little walking around to get my badge and such.

Literary Underworld was on hand in the dealers room, and were carrying The Exodus Gate, The Storm Guardians, and Crown of Vengeance, so I did not have to worry about running a dealer/exhibition table for the weekend. I did spend several hours there during the weekend so I could be on hand for Becky, who was the primary person running the table. Other "Underlords" as Elizabeth calls the authors that she stocks for The Literary Underworld, included Angelia Sparrow, Sara Harvey, Jimmy Gillentine, and Jon Klement. I finally got to met Angelia's mom, which was a very cool surprise!

Speaking of Jon, he was really awesome in that he picked me up at my hotel and was my guide on day one for getting to the convention site. Really helped, as my travel to and from the site was smooth on the following days.

Panels went very well. Elizabeth Donald and I were almost late to the Urban Fantasy panel, but we made it in the nick of time (Elizabeth had to get from the dealers room to the building with the panels and I was having my adventure getting my credentials). A promotion/marketing panel, focusing on low-budget promotion and marketing for authors and others, followed, which included Joy Ward, myself, and filmmaker Jack Snyder. This was a fun panel, where I found out about the mutual love of basset hounds that I share with author Barbara Hodges, who turned out to be one of my main new friends that weekend.

Later, I was on a "Not New York" panel, which focused on small press publishers. This was the second panel I have been on with Selina Rosen (chief editor of Yard Dog Press), who is one of the most out-going, informative, and fun panelists you can encounter. She doesn't hold back! Van Plexico was my other co-panelist, and this one turned out to be a lot of fun.

They day was rounded out with a signing hour on the lower level, where I was with Sandy Lender, Angie Fox, and Murv Sellars. Sandy and I met at ConText in 2009, and she is part of an exciting new publishing venture. Angie is one of the authors at the Something Wicked blog, where my friend Shirley Damsgaard does her blogging. Angie and I talked about new projects and some of the things in the state of the publishing industry. It is definitely a new frontier now, with the eBook element!

On Saturday, Elizabeth hosted a Literary Underworld panel, which included Angelia Sparrow, Jimmy Gillentine, Sara Harvey, Jon Klement, and Elizabeth, who was brandishing a riding crop, I suppose for keeping us in line! We talked about author's groups, such as The Literary Underworld and Imagicopter, both of which I participate in. I was able to give out copies of the new issue of Imagyro, the Imagicopter magazine, which has yours truly on the cover. If you haven't seen it yet, here it is!

I was also on a Book vs. Movie panel that Saturday with Jack Snyder, a successful independent producer, whose movie Ghost Image has met with outstanding success in both domestic and foreign markets. Jack is a great panelist, very knowledgeable and fun to listen to, and I found myself taking a few notes as he talked about his experiences.

Had a reading towards the end of the day, and ended up doing a section of "In the Mountain Skies", the new short story in the Dreams of Steam steampunk anthology from Kerlak Publishing (Kimberly Richardson, editor).

I did get to meet and talk with some new readers in the dealers room, and hang out a little with some of my author friends like Mike D'Ambrosio, a great science fiction writer out of the Philly Area. Mike is very active on the Con circuit, and also is working on the film/screenplay side of things, so we always have lots to talk about and catch up on. (Photo is of Mike D'Ambrosio talking with one of his fans in the dealer room at Archon).

I caught up with Haley Elizabeth Garwood and a new author friend, Barbara Hodges, at panels and author signings later on Saturday. The day definitely ended on a good note there, and I headed back for the night to my hotel, as I needed to get back earlier on Sunday to meet with Aaron Champion, the cinematographer on Swordbearer as we had the final two shoots coming up on that Monday and Tuesday.

Archon was definitely a good experience, and the new location is nice. My hat is off to Beth Bancroft for putting together another great programming track, which I really enjoyed participating in!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Swordbearer-the final two shoots

Last monday and tuesday, the final two shoots for the Swordbearer film took place.

The location for both nights was the Cane Ridge Meeting House, which is one of Kentucky's most historical locations. Dating back to 1791, the place served as a spiritual meeting house, a function that it still has today. In order to preserve the timber building, a stone superstructure was erected over the entire meeting house. The meeting house itself included a wonderful room of timber, in which there is a raised dais fronted by a wide podium/counter. It is a two level structure, with a second level gallery.

For our purposes, the superstructure and the meeting house itself were incredibly appropriate for the council chamber and Ascendant's private apartment locations for Swordbearer.

Assistant producer and unit production manager Cara Worick identified this site, and arranged for the shoots to take place from 5pm onward on both nights. (pictured Cara Worick, taken by myself)

The first night involved the Moorkai council chamber scene, at which the mage DJEMO addresses the Moorkai council regarding the conflict between Jarl Suum and Jarl Thran.

The cast for the night involved Roni Jonah (Djemo), Sonny Burnette (Latacolc), Nathan Day (Solesan), Matthew Perry (Thran), Jason Crowe (Suum), Kala (Abby Cook), Jeslon (Corey Stringer), Mendani (Natasha Smith), Jalanin,(Courtney Lantz), a second Djemoan mage (Cara Worick), as well as additional council members Russ Croley, Tim Stamps, and some extras/observers that included Rick Lawing and Rocco Pepe. (photo of Jason Crowe, taken by myself)

Roni had a tough task for both nights, as the two scenes were dialogue intensive and a great proportion of the dialogue involved her character Djemo. Roni conducted the address of the council with a commanding presence and intensity.

We did do a few takes involving some improvisation between Baliak and Thran (John Wells and Matthew Perry), for consideration on a possible insert to go at the beginning of the scene. We did some improvisation between Margaret Edwards and Matt when we did the beach scene at Ft. Boonesborough, which turned out fantastic and is definitely going to make the final cut. The improvisation on Monday sounded fantastic as well, as Baliak and Thran engaged in some brief conversation prior to the convening of the council. I have great hopes for this segment also making the final cut. Working with actors of the caliber of John and Matt allows for attempts such as this, which has the potential of deepening the scene and character development when it works. (photo of John Wells as Baliak, taken by myself)

We got an extensive amount of coverage, including some really nice jib shots targeted for the beginning and end of the scene. The council members turned in a great performance, and our coverage included many individual shots of council reactions. Cinematographer Aaron Champion worked a lot of the night in a stabilization harness, while Sven Granlund ran a second camera.

Several new outfits were debuted from the costuming department, including Solesan's, Gomaton's, and Jeslon's. As has been the case with this production, costuming looked fantastic. Abby Cook and Maggie Miller really excelled with the custom designs that were used in these two shoots. (Photo of Corey Stringer as Jeslon, taken by myself)

The crew really flowed well, including some new faces, like Tim, who was our sound recordist for the two nights, as well as Daniel (who was an extra in our tavern scene), who stepped in to help AD and grip for the night. As always, Robin Blankenship was a big help, straddling the costuming department and production assistant duties. Justin Powell,wearing his trademark hat, was everywhere on the set with the setups, putting lighting and assembling the jib on the 2nd level gallery or positioning lighting on the first level. Both nights we accomplished our entire shot lists, including the addition of a couple of additional shots not on the original list, with an hour to spare in terms of our projected shoot times each night.

It was a rather cold night inside of the building, which under other circumstances might have turned into a negative, but the cast and crew continued to show the "can-do" spirit and endured the chill while maintaining a positive vibe. Of course, as always, I had Monster Energy Drinks close at hand (and so did John Wells, who also has superior taste in energy drinks) to assist!

Tuesday night we moved to one of the side apses in the stone superstructure building for a different scene. The apse had 3 tall arched windows, in which we placed banners reflecting the colors of House Suum and Dejmo. The scene called for only five actors, Sonny Burnette, Jason Crowe, Nathan Day, Ryan Buckley, and Roni Jonah, who had another night with extensive dialogue.

As with Monday's shoot, Roni turned in another excellent performance, displaying some great intensity that I really feel came through very well on the midshots and closeups. Sonny, Nathan, Jason, and Ryan also turned in strong performances, and the lighting scheme used in this scene really looked nice, in terms of what Aaron and Sven were getting on camera. (Photo of Sonny Burnette and crew)

We were afforded a great opportunity due to the uniqueness of the location, in that there was an outer, second level window in the meeting house that looks over the center of the apse. I definitely wanted to take advantage of the free high angle shot, and we set up a jib to get an intro shot for the scene that I am confident will look very nice. (Photo of Matt Perry and Aaron Champion, taken by myself)

Everyone was in a great mood at the end of the shoot, even the curator of the property, James, which always is a good thing when shooting on location!

There will be a few small pieces to get for a montage sequence planned for early in the film, but the principle production phase has successfully concluded. A new phase gets underway, as there are a few key effects shots, a stylized montage, a full score, sound design, and much more to tackle in the post production period of Swordbearer.

The production on Swordbearer was a really fantastic expereince. This is the third project in a row as a director that I have worked with Matt and Sven and Cineline Productions, and I really believe that we took another large step forward. From Shadows Light, to Sirens, and now Swordbearer, we have made progressions in production and execution. (photo of Sven, me, and Matt)

I was elated to have Aaron Champion as my DP on this project. I had gotten him aboard Scott Sullivan's latest project, SantaBoy last spring, which I served on as a producer and first AD, and after being around him on that project I was really looking forward to working with Aaron on Swordbearer. Things were organized and flowed so well between Aaron and myself ... going over shotlists, discussing a few additional shots, looking at technical issues, or whatever the case might be, I feel that Aaron and I were on the same page all throughout. As with Matt and Sven, I hope that my next project has Aaron on it as well. (Photo of Aaron and myself)

I will be writing a lot more about this project and those involved with it, but figured this should be a good set report for the final two shoots.

I will be sure to keep everyone posted on progress in the post-production phase. We are tentatively aiming for a later January premiere of the film, with a trailer (perhaps a couple of versions) to be released before that.